Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mudsldes Stop Me From Driving North Cross Cascades Highway 20 To Winthrop This Weekend

I did not know til Maxine told me via email that thunderstorms over the weekend dropped a lot of water on the North Cascades, which caused 8 mudslides between mileposts 150  and 155 on Highway 20, near Rainy Pass.

Highway 20 is now closed at the winter gate at milepost 147, east of Diablo. Coming from the east the highway is closed at milepost 157, east of Rainy Pass.

The biggest of the Highway 20 mudslides is a quarter mile long and 25 feet deep.

Did any vehicles passing over the pass get trapped in the Highway 20 mud mess?

The same storm also caused a major washout on the Cascade River Road at milepost 18. Cascade River Road is how you get to the trail head for the Cascade Pass Trail, which is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Cascade Mountains. The Cascade Pass Trail is the route one hikes from the west side of the mountains to hike to the Stehekin Valley.

The aforementioned Maxine makes a yearly trek to Stehekin via this route.

The washout on the Cascade River Road stranded 65 hikers and 30 vehicles at the Cascade Pass trail head parking lot. The stranded hikers had to spend the night. By Monday a temporary fix to the washout let the stranded evacuate.

That Washington Trails Association has an excellent website with photos and details about the closed roads.

The Seattle Times has an excellent first person account from one of the stranded Cascade Pass hikers.

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